Bill Black and Joey Buck recently presented the 2010 Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries annual report to the Sevier County Baptist Association. You can find the printed version of that report on our home page. Our verbal report focused on the things we have learned about each other through working together for a year. Bill spoke of things learned about Joey. Joey spoke of things he learned about SMRM –and Bill.

Bill about Joey:

Consistent: In our selection process interviews, one of the things that impressed all of us was how carefully Joey and Katy spoke of a faith in God that is lived out in family and decisions
–and a desire to share that faith in total lifestyle.

Willing: Joey does not say “no” very lightly. He also accepts the unexpected of ministry with a joyful commitment to fulfill the task. His very first day here, before his clothes and funiture arrived, he willingly went to UT hospital to be with an injured Dollywood employee and her family.

Compassionate: He sees people and enters into their feelings. This compassionate approach grants him a hungry heart to share Christ with others and a style of acceptance that opens many hearts

God-sensitive: He is led by the Holy Spirit. When he reports events and conversations he uses the phrase “Oh Bill, God was with us and …”.

Mechanically blessed: A bonus for us! He has a wonderful ability to maintain or repair just about anything. As he says, “if somebody put it together, I can take it apart and fix it!”

Good to work with: He as adapted to me and to my style without losing his identity, his ministry, his mission. And even better, we are very different.

Fast learner who is dependable to finish all his assignments. We are both excited about finishing our first year –and a whole cycle of SMRM– so that we can begin to enjoy the added value of understanding.

Says “yes” to call. Joey and Katy have said “yes” to God’s call for their lives. This leads to a passion for ministry; it leads to creativity outside the walls of the traditional church style; it leads to commitment to go the distance in relationships; it leads to the celebration of one of Joey’s favorite words: Fun. Whether he is preaching at Dollywood, repairing the dishwasher at the staff dorm, sharing Christ with an international college student, teaching a summer missionary the meaning of responsibility, or doing administrative work with me — his comment is always “this is fun!” Being faithful to your call is simply the most fun you can have as a Christian.


Joey about SMRM:

SMRM values volunteers. Our goal is to call out Christians on mission and to enable them to fulfill that call. All volunteers with SMRM have the space and freedom to use the gifts God has given to each person. One example of this would be Candice Coleman, a daughter of Sevier County Baptist Association’s churches who is a snowboard instructor and winter worship music leader for us.

Resort missions does not just happen. It is not “play.” Every action has purpose and intentionality.

There is a deep rooted vested interest to those who live and work in the resort and leisure community. This is the result of long term trust and involvement.

Bill has expectations that all individuals involved in SMRM are to take it to the next level –operating within the realm of professionalism. This push, this goal, is always there for all of us.

Bill is always looking to be at the creative edge –teaching, leading, and developing others in ministry. SMRM follows the leadership of the Holy Spirit in adapting to the constant changes in the resort industry.

Bill has a gift of teaching, guiding, and mentoring others into ministry. In this year alone we have celebrated Jacob Baccus’s work and growth into seminary, one of the best summer staff’s in SMRM’s long and meaningful history, and my arrival and commitment.

Thanks be to God.
Bill and Joey, co-authors